Home – New Forums Tech talk Computer Science student looking for a project

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  • #999505
    kmoe96
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    Need a complex website / app / tool / service built?

    A final year Computer Science student here. I’m looking to work with small businesses to help realise some of their more complex tech projects.

    It is often the case where unqualified or dodgy consultancies are hired to work on complex projects. They turn out over budget, un-maintanable, or are handed off to offshore freelancers. Otherwise, large enterprise IT consultancies are often used, which are glorified middlemen to the actual developer and cause a whole other set of problems in the development process.

    I have a lot of practical experience in the field. I am great at creating systems that are optimal for businesses while still being cost effective. I am not afraid to use new technologies and I enjoy the challenge of fitting languages and architectures to business requirements. This is possible because I like to follow new technologies and patterns and can filter out the hype.

    I have a great work ethic. I take owning my own work seriously and strive to keep my work well maintained and easy to understand.

    Notable Skills: Node.js, AWS Lambda, Angular, Postgres, Docker, Python, Java, C & C++, PHP

    Current Interests: Event sourcing, distributed systems, sveltejs, plpgsql, CDNs

    Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of that means. Send me a DM on this forum to get my contact info and open a line of communication about your project.

    If I find your project to be a good match, I’d love to work for you if the job matches this criteria:

    • onsite work around Sydney, the Hills, Parramatta or Blacktown – not remote
    • small business or startup (not necessarily in the tech industry)
    • part time, contract or casual 1-4 days a week (while studying)
    • low budget – I don’t have high pay expectations
    #1220030
    LukeHally
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    I commend you on having a go at consulting, but I’ll offer you some advice. Keep the freelance/consulting as a side gig and get a job. Whether it is full time or contract, work with people in positions you want to have one day.

    You’ll learn how to talk to people in a language they understand and learn real world processes – technical, production and client management – see what works and what doesn’t. It really is invaluable experience to work with smart people who really know their stuff. I’ve been in digital for over 20 years and I still learn things on just about every contract I do.

    If your dream is to run your own business, I’d recommend two courses, depending on what you want to do (and assuming you are as good as you have said you are):

    If you want to have a more stable job with a career path: Try to get some experience this year with a bigger player that offers a graduate program, build a relationship to help get into a grad program and get straight onto decent money with a good company on your resume.

    If you want to work on cutting edge processes and tech: Directly contact digital or experience agencies. They’re full of young people who live to work and you’ll probably get to try out some crazy stuff (I built a portal for an IoT fridge for Budweiser a few years ago at one). You’ll need to shop around though, some a great, some are a chaotic patchwork where every single employee or freelancer has added a square.

    You’ll get experience so that in say, 10 years time you are in a position to chase your own business dreams.

    #1220031
    Lisa Crocker
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    Hi kmoe96!

    Thanks for joining Flying Solo and sharing in our forums.

    All the best with your studies and work!

    Cheers,
    Lisa

    #1220032
    kmoe96
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    Thank you for your advice LukeHally. You are 100% right.

    I understand how valuable industry experience is, especially in the software field. You can’t aim to for the sky right away. However, I have found that the skills I have acquired are quite different from other students. It is more than enough to develop small-medium scale applications. But definitely not enough to build and manage large scale software with a team of dozens. I will not be taking on a project that my personal skillset won’t add value to.

    My dream is not to run my own business. It is to work on great software that will make life easier for people. The purpose of my OP is not to help me to start a consulting business. Instead, the purpose is to help me find businesses with a promising project that can hire me as an alternative to dealing with a consultancy.

    #1220033
    Zava Design
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    To add to Luke’s comments, you need to show any potential clients what you can do – “show don’t tell” – which you have provided none of in your post.

    #1220034
    kmoe96
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    It’s very difficult to show what I excel at without breaking into technical terminology.

    I’m great at analysing clinets’ business requirements and designing systems while considering a number of factors, some of which include:

    • Scalability (can the system handle bursts of load?)
    • Extensibility / Maintainability (is it easy for Devs to work on?)
    • Runtime cost (what does it cost to keep the system running for a year?)
    • Timeline requirements (when is the deadline?)
    • Cost of talent (what does it cost to hire a dev that can work on this system?)
    • Security
    • Geography / latency / localisation (does the system need to operate in multiple regions?)
    • Redundancy / availability (what happens if a cable goes loose?)
    • Future proofing (how long will the system meet client expectations as technology evolves?)

    Usually, only a few of the above are important to any specific project. Figuring out what is important, and designing a solution that meets the requirements as cheap and quickly as possible is a very difficult task.
    However, doing this kind of analysis and design is somehow intrinsic to me. I don’t need to work down a list of concerns and tackle each one. Instead, I know how the properties of the patterns and technologies being considered affect these concerns. Again, this is probably because I like to keep up with the industry, and am constantly playing with new technology in the computer science field.

    One of my downsides is my inability to do graphical design work. I can’t design a good looking website or user interface to save my life. I usually defer to a friend or design firm to create wireframes and designs. I have found this to work well in the past. It has saved me a lot of time allowed me to concentrate on non design issues while still delivering a great looking result.

    #1220035
    Zava Design
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    You’re still telling not showing…

    #1220036
    kmoe96
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    Zava Design, post: 265572, member: 34615 wrote:
    You’re still telling not showing…

    What should I be showing?

    I’ll be sending my resume, previous projects, transcript and maybe some code to anyone that is interested in hiring me.

    #1220037
    Zava Design
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    Showing (not telling) your previous projects is the #1 thing you need to be doing. If you can’t include links to them in the original post you wrote due to confidentiality or similar, then you need to make it EXTREMELY clear off the bat that you are able to privately. It’s taken this many comments before I even know you have any projects to show me (or anyone interested), that’s not good if it’s similar in other places you’ve posted something similar.

    #1220038
    kmoe96
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    Noted.

    Yes, just being a bit careful on this public forum. Don’t want to name any names atm.

    Some experience:

    • A production codebase that serves hundreds of universities world wide, and tens of thousands of students (2014)
    • Designed the architecture of two tech startups in sydney (2018, 2019)
    • Worked at a hip tech consultancy (2016)
    • Worked as a freelance web dev while in highschool (2010-2013)
    • Lots of projects at uni
    • Lots of personal projects (all incomplete)
    #1220039
    bb1
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    kmoe96, post: 265575, member: 114685 wrote:
    • Lots of personal projects (all incomplete)

    Well thats a good thing to put on your resume, translates to either I don’t know how to finish a job, or I just lose interest, number one on my selection list.

    But seriously you come on here making this statement ”It is often the case where unqualified or dodgy consultancies are hired to work on complex projects. They turn out over budget, un-maintanable, or are handed off to offshore freelancers.”, yet you have just come out of uni, so no real world experience, and you are saying you are more professional then others, but your biggest claim to fame is incomplete projects.

    #1220040
    RunicConvenience
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    if you can not finish your own “project” how can a client trust you to see there product to completion and your just as dodgy as all the people you criticise because you have let your projects have the same issue.

    every project you have not completed because you hit a road block or hurdle is a customer project that you went over budget or needed to hand off to someone else to fix your mess.

    #1220041
    kmoe96
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    bb1, post: 265582, member: 53375 wrote:
    Well thats a good thing to put on your resume, translates to either I don’t know how to finish a job, or I just lose interest, number one on my selection list.

    It may look like a bad trait to have a lot of incomplete personal projects, but its really not. We practice our skills by starting projects with the sole purpose of testing out technologies and patterns. This way we get to have a more real world understanding of the properties of technologies.

    For example, I created a Spotify (music streaming service) clone. The reason I did this was to practice using microservice architectures. Just the other day I made a pizza store website – the aim was to test out a new JavaScript compiler called Svelte 3.

    I hope you can see how it’s not feasible for Devs to complete every project they start. I should have listed “works on a lot of experimental projects” instead of “lots of personal projects”.

    bb1, post: 265582, member: 53375 wrote:
    But seriously you come on here making this statement ”It is often the case where unqualified or dodgy consultancies are hired to work on complex projects. They turn out over budget, un-maintainable, or are handed off to offshore freelancers.”, yet you have just come out of uni, so no real world experience, and you are saying you are more professional then others, but your biggest claim to fame is incomplete projects.

    I just listed quite a bit of experience, so am not sure where you get “no real world experience” from. You only picked the last item on the list to nitpick about.

    I have seen first hand how some consultancies can be a terrible match for some projects. I have also seen a lot of consultancies that produce really crappy work as a result of having bad architectures and trying to save costs.
    I’m not trying to sound more “professional than others”. My primary claim is that depending on the project, I can be a more cost-effective solution than some consultancies.

    #1220042
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    kmoe96, post: 265575, member: 114685 wrote:
    Noted.

    Some experience:

    • A production codebase that serves hundreds of universities world wide, and tens of thousands of students (2014)
    • Designed the architecture of two tech startups in sydney (2018, 2019)

    Hi [USER=114685]@kmoe96[/USER],

    Good on you for putting an offer out there. Zava has prompted you in exactly the right direction, and the examples you gave are a better way to talk about your work.

    The top 2 you’ve listed are the important ones here, and they would be powerful examples if you can use the names of the companies, link to the products, and say what problems you helped the companies to solve (like mini case studies, but stated in a mere sentence or paragraph).

    That’s a decent template to use wherever you choose to offer your services. Especially where you have the freedom to use links etc (which you don’t so much on this forum).

    Keep putting your offer out there, and getting feedback, and adding each piece of work you do to make your offer stronger and stronger.

    Dave

    #1220043
    LukeHally
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    I agree with [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] and [USER=112020]@RunicConvenience[/USER] regarding incomplete projects. We all have unfinished projects, they’re a form of personal/professional development, but they add little value to most client discussions. Sure if your discussions steer in a direction that’s related to one you can bring it up “I’m working on a fun little project that is related …”.

    It’s helpful to be solution and customer focused in the way you speak. Let’s look at your notable skills. I have a digital background so I can see they are good to have. But have you ever see that glazed over look in most peoples’ eyes when you talk about tech skills and stacks? That’s a lack of interest.

    Most small businesses (and people in general) are busy with their own lives, they don’t want to read or listen to a bunch of gobbledygook and have to process it and work how how it benefits them – they definitely don’t want to be educated on why the boring thing you just told them is important (I know, my tells me all the time). They just want to be told how you can help them. Unless you want a job as a code monkey, you need to be able to sell yourself as a solution. It shows that you understand the client and their problem and that you can use your skillset as appropriate to help them. These are all soft skills that come with experience – hence my original advice to get a job, learn them on someone else’s dollar.

    Having said all that, it looks like you have some impressive projects under your belt, why don’t you build on them? Whatever you built for the universities or startups, do similar problems exist in other industries that you could apply a similarly structured solution too?

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